What’s an INDC anyway?

The United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the negotiating process can be difficult to wrap your head around, especially if you are a new-comer to international negotiations like I am.  To make things even more confusing there are acronyms for anything and everything! The UNFCCC, the ADP (Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action), the COP (Conference of the Parties), the acronyms for negotiating blocs and non nation state actors (NNSA), just to name a few.

One important acronym that you might hear thrown around is INDC.  INDC stands for Intended Nationally Determined Contribution, and is a countries’ post 2020 commitment for climate action and GHG reductions.  INDCs were first discussed at COP19 in Warsaw, and both developed and developing countries have been invited to produce and submit them;  this is a first for the UNFCCC as it normally abides by the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities (CBDR) for developed and developing nations.

The first country to submit its INDC was Switzerland in February of 2015, and the submissions have been trickling in ever since.  This past week saw a huge jump in submissions, as the secretariat will be preparing a synthesis report of INDCs that were communicated by October 1, 2015; 73 new and revised submissions were seen this week alone on the INDC Portal!  The synthesis report will hopefully show parties the overall state of global emission reduction commitments before negotiations start in Paris this December. Read more